Tracing back to the 16th century, Britain and Malaysia share a long history of diplomatic ties and successful trade relations. The BMCC is a part of this history.
Who We Are
Established in 1963, the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (BMCC) has been driven by the sole ordinance of advancing bilateral trade relations between the United Kingdom and Malaysia. Over the past six decades, the BMCC has been a catalyst in providing businesses with networking platforms, branding & exposure, international trade services and industry advocacy. Today, the BMCC has firmly rooted itself as one of Southeast Asia’s most prolific Chambers.
The BMCC is part of the Global Chamber Network, comprising British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) members and business groups that are located across all continents of the world and directly linked to Chambers of Commerce in every region of the UK. The BMCC is also member of the Britain in Southeast Asia (BiSEA) network, a group of 8 British Chambers and Business Councils across the Southeast Asian region, aimed at providing channels for businesses to reach into Southeast Asia markets and the region.
A brief history of our origins
On the 26th March 1963, the British Trade Representatives Association (BTRA) was initiated as an indirect result of the diversification of Malaysia's trade, which dates from 1813 when the EIC's (East India Company) monopoly of trade was abolished. After having settled in Penang and Singapore in 1786 and 1819 respectively, British merchants felt securely established in the foreign trade of the country by 1833. Trade flourished with growing demand for raw materials by British industries and the marketing of British-finished products in the East. The diminished direct protective influence of the EIC and trade expansion gave rise to the need for organised effort by merchants to protect their interests in all those countries where the EIC had previously enjoyed exclusive trading rights.
Enterprising British merchants in port towns were the first to establish chambers of commerce in Penang and Singapore in 1837. Later, similar Chambers were set up in Selangor (1903) and Perak (1911). After Malaya's independence from the British in 1957, other countries including America and Japan entered the trading arena. Eventually all these chambers were amalgamated, evolving through a series of name changes. The body known as The States of Malaya Chamber of Commerce was known colloquially to local businesses as the 'European' Chamber of Commerce to differentiate it from the Malay, Chinese and Indian chambers. It was no longer representative of British commerce, hence a need arose for a body to represent British business interests in a competitive business world. The British Trade Representative Association (BTRA), tasked with the promotion of British goods and services in Malaya, was conceived in 1962, with its official formation happening the year after.
The BTRA then became the British Malaysian Industry and Trade Association (BMITA) in 1968 before eventually changing to the name we are known by today, the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (BMCC) in the year 2000 to emphasise the reciprocal nature of trade between Britain and Malaysia. Today, members of the BMCC include some of the largest exporters of produce, manufacturing and services from the United Kingdom, as well as some of the most influential Malaysian companies that have shaped the nation's economic landscape.